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1.) The debt ceiling cage match rapidly cometh — We knew the debt ceiling debate was coming, but now we learn it will be hear sooner than expected. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Betsi Fores reports:
“The political battle over raising the national debt ceiling may come sooner than expected. ‘Based on financial data from Treasury, we estimate that the government will be unable to pay all of its bills as early as February 15, also known as the X Date,’ said Steve Bell, senior director of the Economic Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. After Feb. 15, $452 billion in scheduled payments — including IRS tax refunds and debt interest payments — are scheduled to go out. The government is only projected to receive $277 billion during that period.”
Just what American wants: Another drawn out battle to produce a terrible deal. A new poll out shows Congress as less popular than colonoscopies. Congress did beat out the Ebola virus, but surely the upcoming fight between Congress and the president will help Ebola take the lead.
2.) Hagel to hack defense budget? — When President Obama engages the GOP in the spending debate he probably hopes to have a new tool in his arsenal: Chuck Hagel. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein opines:
“Domestically, Hagel’s nomination signals that President Obama is intent on gutting the Defense Department. Think about it. President Obama knows he is going to have to deal with the GOP on spending cuts. Even though he says he still wants to tax the rich, that card is essentially played out after the fiscal cliff deal. The president has shown little sign he seriously wants to address the greatest driver of our long-term fiscal problem, Medicare. So what card does he have left to shield Medicare in debt negotiations? Defense. That’s why Hagel is so attractive to the president: he is a rare Republican who is enthusiastic about making defense cuts.”
3.) A clueless man — Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey gave a controversial interview with the left-wing Media Matters recently. After it was published, many conservatives wondered aloud what prompted Armey to go to the left to bash some of his friends on the right. Now we know: he’s clueless. TheDC’s Vince Coglianese reports:
“Dick Armey had no idea he was speaking to the left-wing Media Matters organization during an interview last week, he told The Daily Caller Tuesday. Instead, Armey thought he was chatting with the conservative Media Research Center. … ‘I wouldn’t know Media Matters from a hole in the wall,’ the 72-year-old told TheDC. ‘That was a major, big screw up on my part. I thought they were somebody else.’ When asked who he thought Media Matters was, Armey replied, ‘Who’s the guy with the red beard that always does the show where he points out how biased the press is?’ ‘Oh… the Media Research Center? Brent Bozell?’ TheDC suggested. … ‘Yeah, I thought it was Brent Bozell,’ Armey replied. ‘What I thought I had was I’d get them interested in the absolute screw job I got from The Washington Post.'”
4.) Food Stamp Nation — TheDC’s Caroline May reports on a depressing statistic:
“One in four children in America participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, in fiscal year 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. Census Bureau. The USDA’s “Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2011” shows that in 2011, 19.9 million children, or people under 18, received food stamp benefits. In 2011, the Census estimates there were 73.9 million children under age 18, meaning that 26.9 percent of children, or approximately one in four, were on food stamps in 2011.”
6.) Today in North Korean News –BREAKING: “DPRK People Enraged by S. Korean Regime’s Confrontation Moves”